Katrina & Political B.S.
Politics and disasters don’t mix.
Politics, disasters, and family definitely don’t mix.
I love my family. We’ve had our problems, but we deal with them and for the most part we all get along and nobody doubts each other’s love. We all know that we’re there for each other, and I know if I need my parents for anything they will do anything they can to help.
As anyone with a large family (like mine) can tell you, the more people there are in your family the bigger the chance you’ll have conflicting political views.
My father and I agree on some things and disagree on others. He’s a conservative, and I consider myself independent. I like to make my decisions one at a time and not go along with a large group of people on anything, thank you very much. This is not a statement I’d direct at my dad because our political discussions are always civil and we help each other see the various sides of any issue. Instead, that statement is directed at anyone who would ever my question not to belong to a political party. My parents always used the “if everyone was jumping off a bridge would you?” and I think it applies to politics as much as anything else.
This afternoon I received this email from my dad:
As we now endure a rash of Dem and liberal charges against President Bush regarding Katrina and New Orleans (while ignoring Dems NE Mayor Nagin and Governor XXX and their culpability), we now have a growing body of analysis regarding this horrible tragedy.
I wondered why so many people did not evacuate, even after the flood waters started rising. Here are a few articles that share additional POI.
Are any of you hearing Republicans scream about the negligence of Louisiana Dems (I’m not)? My local paper (the Lansing State Journal) is not covering any of this info.
September 07, 2005, 11:09 a.m.
Bumblers, Not Bigots
The post-Katrina racism bunk.
“It is reported that black hurricane victims in New Orleans have begun eating corpses to survive.â€
September 07, 2005, 8:29 a.m.
A Fuller Picture
Beginning to understand what we are seeing in New Orleans.
There has been something askew in the reporting from New Orleans. It has bothered me for a week now. Finally, when I took a look at the 2000 census data on New Orleans, a lot became clearer.
I felt obliged to send him an e-mail from the perspective of someone who doesn’t give a rat’s ass about politics or bashing the president. I’m not a huge fan, but there’s a time for political B.S. and there’s a time to act. If you have any doubt what time it is now do the human race a favor and get lost.
Personally, I think any and all political bashing by either party is just a further example of one of the things we seem to do best in this country: Talk instead of act.
That being said, what I find appalling is how federal efforts seem to be impeding people from acting. I’m no expert, but it certainly appears to be a large enough disaster to where everyday people need to be able to help each other.
Things like this shouldn’t be happening:
From the article:
“Three quick examples. We had Wal-Mart deliver three trucks of water. FEMA turned them back. They said we didn’t need them. This was a week ago. FEMA, we had 1,000 gallons of diesel fuel on a Coast Guard vessel docked in my parish. When we got there with our trucks, FEMA says don’t give you the fuel. Yesterday â€” yesterday â€” FEMA comes in and cuts all of our emergency communication lines. They cut them without notice. Our sheriff, Harry Lee, goes back in, he reconnects the line. He posts armed guards and said no one is getting near these linesâ€¦”
From the article:
” The BBC just called me. I am the only media inside the dome. We did a long interview and it’s going to be broadcast on Friday at 13:00 on their live webcast.
The media censorship here runs high. It was not easy to actually enter the dome as media. I am working with the group ‘Austin Airwaves’ and our badge says ‘PRESS’ in huge white letters on a red background. This has caused unending red tape. I have been the subject of removal a few times, bordering on a dozen. My camera draws the most fire.
I just heard we have the go ahead to put up the transmitter. I have no idea if that means we can broadcast or not. I assume it does because we have the FCC permits. The main issue here seems to be a total lack of leadership. No one with FEMA seems to know who their boss is. No one with the RedCross has authority. Everyone working for the owners (Reliant energy) of the dome is getting in our way. No photos. No entry. Attempted removal. Detainment.”
This isn’t a contest. The goal of all those people down there right now isn’t to shift votes to one side of the fence or the other, it’s to rebuild basic human needs (like power, sewer systems, running water, etc) and save lives.
It’s times like this I’m glad I consider myself an independent.
I’m not trying to bash anyone’s particular political views. We’re all different and we believe different things. This is something the human race still seems to have trouble dealing with, even after a history full of intolerance, violence, and pain.
All I’m saying is they sent the wrong people to do the job. I’ve been in supervisory positions before, and during times of great need you don’t always have some super genius with perfect planning available. So you send who you have, even if they’re just the best of a mediocre group.
This does not excuse what happens once that person is actually on site and doing their job. And that’s where these problems (the important ones anyway) are rooted. FEMA is rewriting the definition of “bungle” at the moment, and the man in charge is responsible because he’s the head of FEMA, not because he reports to the President and you happen to like bashing Bush. Could Bush have appointed a better suited person to the position? Sure, but that’s not the problem RIGHT NOW is it? Why waste time with all this meaningless finger pointing when people are STILL DYING?
UPDATE: Yes people are still dying. But no, you won’t see any of them thanks to FEMA. Just like our “heroic soldiers dying in Iraq”, there is a federal ban on photographing the dead. I understand that there is a potential for media coverage of dead bodies in this situation to be disturbing and even unnecessary (how many times did we see those planes hit the WTC after 9/11?), but the plight of these people has to be spread, and, while I hate cliches, a picture really can speak a thousand words.
These conversations have consumed my office. I can’t go anywhere without overhearing somebody saying “So-and-so could’ve asked for help from such and such blah blah blah.” I really want to ask if they realize that everything they’re saying is in the past tense, and nobody is talking about the future.